His memoir, “Seed of South Sudan: Memoir of a ‘Lost Boy’ Refugee,” co-authored with former UPI reporter and author Estelle Ford-Williamson, is one of the most detailed books on the Lost Boys to be published since South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in 2011.
The authors will read and sign books Thursday at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairmont Ave. Admission is free.
While many books and news stories have been written and films made about the thousands of young people who were forced to flee the 21-year civil war in Sudan, this memoir is an update to the lives of the Lost Boys and what has happened to them during the last decade since they came to the U.S. in an unprecedented airlift.
During that civil war, two million lives were lost and 80 percent of the South Sudanese people were displaced.
Tens of thousands of boys like Marier fled from the Sudanese Army that wanted to kill them.
Marier writes in detail what he and so many others went through to make their way, first to Ethiopia, back to South Sudan, then to Kenya — and finally to the U.S.
After nine years in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, Marier was able to make journey halfway across the globe to America.
Describing the many people he encountered on his journey in Africa as well as those individuals and organizations in Atlanta and across the U.S. who provided assistance and encouragement, Marier explained how he and others are working toward their dreams of ultimately returning to their homeland with the knowledge and skills to help South Sudan become a stable and self-sustaining nation.
His determination to help fulfill that goal has been expressed in numerous interviews with the media, including appearances on CNN. In the conclusion to his memoir, Marier said the key issue is the ability to resolve internal conflicts in South Sudan, beginning at the local and tribal levels.
He feels it will then be necessary to become warriors in a different kind of war by standing up for refugees, and by calling for — and insisting upon — unity among all African nations.
Co-author Ford-Williamson offers insights into the many people who have helped the Lost Boys throughout the past few years, not only those in Atlanta, but across the U.S. and around the world, including celebrities like George Clooney, who have chosen to use their celebrity to bring attention to South Sudan.
A brief account of the major role played by NBA player Manute Bol in South Sudan’s freedom is also included.
Ford-Williamson discusses the many issues facing this newest of African nations, including the need for accessible water, the continuing issue of the country’s rich oil resources and the ongoing conflict over its control.
The scars of Marier’s journey are still there, but there are many lessons for people from all walks of life in this story of persistence and courage in the face of odds against survival.
The memoir is available in bookstores, as an e-book on Amazon, or through McFarland & Co., Inc., Publishers, at www.mcfarlandpub.com/.
A percentage of sales will go toward building water wells in South Sudan.
A nonprofit corporation to aid the people of South Sudan is also planned.
If you go:
What: Book signing for “Seed of South Sudan: Memoir of a ‘Lost Boy’ Refugee”
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
Where: First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairmont Ave.